Eskom Latest: solar panel scale up, power cuts halted

South Africa will need to build solar and wind plants almost nine times faster than it previously has over the next decade to replace unreliable coal-fired power stations set for retirement.

While new generation units will include a range of renewables, the amount of capacity needed is equivalent to the output from 166 million photovoltaic panels, using an estimate for solar technology from the US Department of Energy.

The continent’s most-industrialized nation requires 53 gigawatts of clean energy capacity by 2032 to make up for the closures and reach a secure level of supply, according to state-owned power utility Eskom. South Africa has only realized 6 100 megawatts since it started a government program in 2011 to buy green energy from independent producers.

Eskom to Suspend Power Cuts at Midnight After 19 Days of Outages (Oct. 28, 12:01 p.m.)

Eskom will suspend rolling blackouts at midnight on Friday due to lower weekend demand after 19 straight days of outages.

It will resume power cuts on Monday removing 2 000 megawatts from the grid from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then 3 000 megawatts until midnight, the utility said in a statement on Twitter Friday.

Eskom Ex-Acting CEO in South African Court on Fraud Charges (Oct. 27, 3:52 p.m.)

Matshela Koko, a former chief executive officer of Eskom appeared in court on charges related to more than R2 billion of irregular contracts to build a coal-fired plant.

He was arraigned in the Magistrates Court at Middelburg in northeastern South Africa along with 16 other co-accused. The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate arrested Koko in the early hours of Thursday morning.

S. Africa, Indonesia Get $1 Billion to Shut Coal Plants (Oct. 27, 3:09 p.m.)

South Africa and Indonesia will receive a combined $1 billion from the Climate Investment Funds to replace some of their coal-fired power plants with renewable energy facilities, part of global efforts to cut planet-warming emissions.

The allocation of $500 million each to the coal-dependent countries will come in the form of “concessional,” or low cost finance, the World Bank-affiliated fund said in a statement Thursday. The money will come from the CIF’s Accelerating Coal Transition investment program.

Eskom Transmission Unit Expects to Trade Separately From 2024 (Oct. 27, 10:18 a.m.)

The legal separation of Eskom’s transmission business is at an “advanced stage” and the utility is in the process of engaging with lenders, Segomoco Scheppers, company’s managing director of transmission, said in a presentation.

South Africa Seeks Independent Advice on Eskom Debt Relief (Oct. 26, 7:21 p.m.)

South Africa is hiring an independent contractor to advise on conditions it should attach to debt relief for Eskom, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said.

The loss-making company’s debt pile of about R400 billion is unsustainable and the government expects to shift between one-third and two-thirds of its loan obligations onto the state’s balance sheet and attach strict conditions to the relief.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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